The scientists who discovered the four new elements added to the periodic table also proposed their names, which on Wednesday were approved and officially entered on the list.
Chemistry’s highest gatekeepers have accepted the newly proposed names for elements 113, 115, 117 and 118.
Please welcome to the periodic table: nihonium, moscovium, tennessine and oganesson.
Scientists first synthesized the new elements between 2002 and 2010, but it wasn’t until last December that the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) officially recognized the discoveries. In June, the scientists who discovered the superheavy, highly reactive elements sent IUPAC their suggested names.
After a five-month waiting period when members of the public could ask questions about the new elements, the four were approved Wednesday, formally filling their boxes in chemistry’s most fundamental table.
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The four elements and where their names come from:
• Japanese researchers proposed nihonium, symbol Nh, for element 113, after the Japanese word Nihon, which means Japan.
• A team consisting of scientists from Russia and the United States named element 115, symbol Ms, after Moscow, and element 117, symbol Ts, after Tennessee.
• The Russian team that discovered it named element 118 oganesson, symbol Og, for Yuri Oganessian, a prolific element hunter.